Frieze New York 2018

Grill-Gotten Gains: Chef Frank Castronovo Talks Frieze Food

The outside menu for Prime Meats, with drippings.


There is no disputing the masterpiece status of at least one series of works that have become a mainstay of Frieze New York: everything that comes off the grill operated by the beloved restaurants Frankies Spuntino and Prime Meats. The two destination eateries in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (with an additional Frankies opened more recently in Manhattan’s West Village) have been serving up food at Frieze from its debut in New York in 2012. And as has become custom, the work this year is a triumph in terms of both content and form.

“Keeping it ‘neighborhood’ is the goal,” Frank Castronovo, one of the two co-owning Frankies (alongside Frank Falcinelli), said when asked about the two related operations on a picnic bench outside. “The garden is nice—everyone drinking beers and eating hot dogs, hamburgers, bratwursts . . .”

Outside is given over to the grill for Prime Meats, whose menu for the fair hews toward the elemental, while inside is the province of Frankies classics including pastas, sandwiches, and more. No one should spend time on Earth and not be availed of the pleasure of biting into helpings of two Frankies staples: first, gnocchi marinara with fresh ricotta, and second, cavatelli with hot sausage and browned sage butter. Prime Meats–wise, the frankfurters this year are snapping-good.

In any case, Castronovo said, “Our focus and goal is to make everyone feel welcome—come one, come all.” As for art, the time has not yet been right to take a full look around, the maestro said. “I’m sure I’ll see something I like, but today it’s just head down and get everything running.”

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